L. Neil Smith's
Number 246, November 9, 2003

Wrong Way, Right Way

The Republican Mushroom Cloud of Smoke and Mirrors
by Todd Andrew Barnett

Exclusive to TLE

In recent weeks the Bush administration and its minions had backpedaled carefully and subtly on several of their most egregiously allusive assertions which greenlighted the war in Iraq. Because of their recent public admissions, one can easily surmise that the president and his cronies had accorded themselves the most brilliantly displayed record of snowing the American people into accepting and believing their lies, deceptions, exaggerations, falsehoods, and chicaneries—all of which were artfully devised to plant the impression that Hussein had engineered 9/11. Let's not kid ourselves here—aside from the fact that Bill Clinton had engaged in a foolhardy sexual dalliance with a White House intern, he, compared to President George W. Bush, ranks as an amateur.

Make no mistake: that is not something one must take lightly in light of the recent events, which have plagued all of us. What the American people have witnessed within the last few weeks is no laughing matter, nor is it an enormous revelation with which we all must be surprised. In case anyone hasn't noticed or even paid attention, it's no walk in the park either. It's not a simple task for one to exert one's energy by systematically choosing words that will accomplish two objectives: to snooker and deceive people and to allow the speaker to later deny that he issued said lie. It's an extraordinary gift that one must have to perfect and to employ, and Bush and his cronies fit that bill perfectly.

So what did the neoconservatives say regarding the link between 9/11 and Iraq? It's quite simple: Bush, in a response to reporters during a meeting with congressional leaders on the energy bill, said, "We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th attacks." Then he asserts, "There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al-Qaeda ties."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, before an assembled group of reporters at a Pentagon news conference, expressed a similar view on the matter as well. "I've not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that," he said.

Shockingly enough Paul Wolfowitz, in an interview with conservative talk radio show host Laura Ingraham, admitted on August 1 that Iraq had no ties to al Qaeda and 9/11. "I'm not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it," he said. Even more recently, Wolfowitz now believes that legions of al Qaeda spies were never in the employ of the Hussein regime.

On the other hand Vice President Dick Cheney, when queried about the polls stating that 70 percent of Americans believed that Hussein was involved in 9/11, tersely replied to Tim Russert on MSNBC's Meet The Press, "I think it's not surprising that people make that connection." When queried about the connection during the interview, he issued a far different assertion in contrast with his colleagues' statements. "We don't know," he said. "You and I talked about this two years ago. I can remember you asking me this question just a few days after the original attack. At the time, I said no, we didn't have any evidence of that."

After that, when he saw a video clip interview he had with Russert on the show in March—an interview in which he said that the administration and he believed that Hussein had "reconstituted nuclear weapons," he admitted that he misstated his case. "I did misspeak," he said. "I've said repeatedly during the show, weapons capability. We've never had any evidence that he had acquired a nuclear weapon."

At the same time, the Bush choir had been singing a new tune, in which they stated that they had never lulled the American people into those matters, especially under false pretenses. Their claims sound so Clintonesque in nature that one can easily surmise the obvious: it just depends on what the meaning of "never" is.

It is both a downright lie and a pathetic chicanery to purport that Bush had never snowed Americans into thinking that the Hussein regime was connected to 9/11. True, the president never stood before the people and said, "Saddam Hussein directly conspired with Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorist network to crash those three airliners into the World Trade Tower buildings, the Pentagon, and southeast of Pittsburgh."

But Bush did say, on announcing an end to all major combat operations in Iraq on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln on May 1: "In these 19 months that changed the world, our actions have been focused and deliberate and proportionate to the offense. We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th—the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got."

Consider the last sentence in his statement for a second. The president had just deployed American GIs into Iraq, just for deposing Saddam's regime and for setting up political and military shop on the mainland. When he officially proclaimed victory, he spoke a gamut of words that had no other meaning than to calculatingly link Hussein to the events of 9/11. After all, what else could those words have meant? Has it ever occurred to Bush and his conservative collectivistic stalwarts that his words intended to plant the impression into the minds of every American that Hussein was somehow involved in the 9/11 attacks?

Furthermore, Hussein did not personally collude with Osama bin Laden to attack the United States. He even did not secure a declaration of war against us from his own government. His armed forces were not even near the attacks, proving for the last time that they did not attack every single American man, woman, and child. Yes, Hussein was a barbaric dictator who subjected his people to immense terror, but he certainly was not a terrorist in any strict sense of the word. The only terrorist whose reputation meets that conventional definition was bin Laden. After all he did wage war on the United States because of its morally bankrupt and perverse foreign policy. Let's not even overlook the fact that it was al Qaeda operatives who crashed those planes into three buildings on American soil.

However, because Bush, with his hawkish vultures at his side, said that the terrorists "declared war on the United States, and war is what they got," it only meant one thing and one thing only: Saddam Hussein aided Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda on the 9/11 incident. Thanks to him and his neoconservative goons, 70 percent of Americans fell for it.

Of course the president has just told us that Hussein had nothing to do with that fateful day. Translation: forget it.

The lunacy even extends to the ever-elusive weapons of mass destruction. Once again this brilliant scheme is devised to convolute the thinking of the listener by rearranging the appearance of the picture, just so that he can give up figuring out the implication behind the statement and placate himself with the presumption that the president has the entire situation under control. If you think about it—that is, when you hear Bush and his rooters—you are left with the impression that no one has ever asserted that Hussein was in possession of chemical and biological weapons, which were a dire threat to Americans. Days prior to the administration's disavowal of the 9/11 link, statements by the Bush spin doctors were floating in the print press and the Internet, suggesting that Hussein had the capability of procuring nuclear weapons. It's also been suggested that he possessed the intent to amass the capability, or the desire to establish the intent to procure the capability.

However, anyone who sees this should obviously realize that this is just rhetorical nonsense. One should have the sense that language affects everything we say, think, believe, and do. In the eyes of Rumsfeld and his fellow collectivists, the matter is deemed so petty that he didn't even have the nerve to query the head of the search team about the status of the inspection when he was in the Iraqi homeland.

Perhaps it should have dawned on the neocons that their propaganda machine is just simply ludicrous. The American and British statists told us that Hussein's weapons program was active and that it could launch WMDs within a 45 minutes' notice. Didn't the Republicans also say that their own smoking gun could turn out to be none other than an Iraqi mushroom cloud? Yes, they did and they pulled it off amazingly well too.

In statist fashion, the war cheerleaders just love to keep proliferating the insidious claptrap that we sent our troops to "liberate the people" of Iraq and to allocate the war on terrorism from the U.S. to Baghdad, as if they are the justifications for our conquest of the country. Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly embarrassing that our own leaders can't straighten out their own stories in our neck of the woods. Isn't it intriguing that Cheney called Iraq the "geographic base" for the 9/11 terrorism? If that's true, then what was the point of our military invasion and occupation of Afghanistan? Isn't it fair to say that the president and vice president have a duty and responsibility to get their facts straight?

Whether the American people realize it, one can obviously see the Republican mushroom cloud of smoke and mirrors. Moreover, as soon as the smoke clears, the Environmental Protection Agency ought to penalize the president and his fellow hawks by accusing them of violating the Clean Air Act of 1990. When all is said and done, one can see that the Bush and his conservative collectivistic lackeys love to pollute the truth with their smoke.

© 2003 by Todd Andrew Barnett. All Rights Reserved. Permission to reprint any portion of or the entire article is hereby granted, provided that the author's name and credentials are included.


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